It’s easier to sell more to your existing customers than it is to get new ones (and it costs less, too). But many FECs and amusement destinations fail to make the most of each customer relationship.

More engaged and loyal guests will help you achieve more revenue, so focus on cultivating a flourishing customer relationship to get closer to your goals. Here are five steps to help you identify and entice your best guests.

1. Know your customer.

One critical step many facilities miss is knowing who’s visiting at all. Failure to tie guest transactions to unique customer profiles deprives you of essential data that you can use in analysis, package creation and marketing.

If you’re not already capturing guest information in your database, here are the easiest ways:

Use an integrated liability waiver

If you’re still using paper waivers, chances are you are missing out key revenue potential as well as important operational efficiencies. An online liability waiver captures guest names, email addresses, age and birthdate, all important information when delivering customized marketing efforts to your audience. Waivers that are integrated with your point of sale make this seamless because attraction purchases and upsells at Admissions can be attached to your guests’ profile, giving you insights into their visit frequency and spending behaviors.

Offer a loyalty rewards program

A loyalty program is a simple way to capture guest data and insights. You can automatically opt-in guests the first time they purchase an attraction by setting that item up to require a customer (common if you are also requiring waivers for specific attractions). Or, use in-store signage and social media to encourage guests to opt into your program.

If not done automatically, it’s a good idea to offer a signup incentive or program bonus early on to get more interaction. Unlike attaching an attraction purchase to a guest profile at Admissions, a loyalty program allows you to follow your guests’ journey throughout the facility, from food and beverage stations to the game room and redemption games to the retail store. The benefits actually encourage them to self-identify at every transaction.

Offer memberships or season passes

By their very nature, members and season pass holders will be some of your best customers. Multi-visit programs are a great way to build brand loyalty and allow you to do so while you capture information about your best products, attractions, food offerings and important information about your peak and offpeak times.

Leverage your cashless system

Having your guests register their game cards, either at the POS or at a cashless debit card system kiosk, is another avenue for gaining customer data. The carrot for your guest: if their card is associated with their guest account, you can replace a lost card and keep the value, rather than treating it like lost cash.

2. Analyze the data.

All the data in the world isn’t worth much if you don’t take the time to analyze it. Once you begin to capture your guests’ engagement with your business, you will have everything you need at your fingertips to make informed business decisions that impact your bottom line.

Key data points that you should routinely review year to date, by month, by quarter, month over month or year over year (or any other timeframe you desire) include:

  • Total customer visit and spending data sorted by spending, or by number of visits
  • Average Per Capita Spending
  • Heatmaps for number of guests onsite
  • Guests’ last visit for a customized date-range (e.g. show me who has visited in the last 30 days)
  • Total lifetime-spend by customer
  • Specific items guests purchased
  • Memberships and Loyalty program participation
  • Pass and discount utilization

Also, remember that data isn’t just numbers. Use feedback forms, surveys and comment cards to solicit what guests want more or less of from your facility’s offerings. Doing so can help you engage and build stronger ties with your audience and give you a wealth of ideas to consider about every aspect of your business. Remember that feedback, although at times painful, is never fatal.

3. Make a plan.

Once you know how guests have been engaging with your facility, you can begin to impact their behaviors.

For example, if you know that on average, guests are spending $40 per visit at your facility, perhaps you should brainstorm packages or specials to offer that would cause an uptick to $45 or $50. If you find many guests buying a burger product, perhaps you begin to offer a high-end Wagyu beef selection that would earn 20% more per burger. If guests are visiting an average of once per month, consider a monthly membership that will entice them to visit a bit more often to achieve additional benefits.

There are so many creative promotions and offerings that will help you maximize the full potential of the customer lifetime. Once you have your new offering or promotion, be sure to fully consider:

  • When will you roll it out? For how long?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What specifically do hope to achieve (be specific in numbers, dollars or percentages)?
  • How and when will you communicate it to staff?
  • How will you measure success?

4. Take action.

Plan in hand, you’re ready to take the next steps and roll out whatever promotion, new offering or communication you have to your guests. Email marketing, social media, in-store marketing and team member contests are all great ways to get the word out to new and existing guests that you have something great to share. Vary your communication approach so that you can meet guests where they are and figure out what works best for your facility, so you can tweak, restructure and continuously improve.

5. Measure results.

The best thing about being data-driven is that you’ll always have what you need to be successful, with new stats to compare against the past.

Measure the results of your program to decide how successful a promotion or campaign has been. Did you achieve the revenue or visit goals you intended? What got in the way? What would have made it more successful? Did you run the program long enough? Should you have communicated it more often or to more people? Did you try using varied email subject lines and times of day? Was there one team (or email campaign or social post) that outperformed the others in sales of a particular product? If so, what did they do differently than the rest of the staff? These are just some of the ways that you can continue to maximize your best results.

Bottom line: it’s true, knowledge is power, and you have everything you need to build a powerhouse of profitability at your FEC – if you know where to look and what to do with what you find.

What does your FEC do to boost engagement and revenue? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

Also, see how CenterEdge can help your FEC achieve the best results by scheduling a demo with our team. 

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